Service has been at the heart of King Edward’s School throughout our history. Boys in all years are encouraged to give their time and energy to make a difference to others, and we hope this remains part of their character when they leave school.
One of the many appealing aspects of the IB Diploma, which all Sixth Formers study, is that it formalises the expectation of service through the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) element of the IB core. However, boys do not have to wait until Sixth Form to make a contribution, and there are a wide variety of ways to get stuck in.
The Personal Service Group (PSG) was established at King Edward’s in the early 1970s. Since then, PSG has played an active role in the local community whilst also providing a beneficial and character building activity to the boys who take part.
Offered as part of the Friday afternoon activities programme, around 70 boys from Year 10 upwards go out on placement in the community every Friday afternoon as part of PSG.
Placements are most successful and enjoyable when they align with a boy’s personal interests, and so boys are given guidance by staff on choosing and arranging their placement. There is no limit on what boys can apply to do, as long as it serves the community, and placements typically include:
St Chad’s Sanctuary, which welcomes asylum seekers, and SIFA Fireside, a day centre for homeless and vulnerably housed adults, are also supported by PSG, including through clothing donations at particular times of need, for example to help Afghan refugees in the West Midlands.
The KES Food Bank was established during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 to offer support to families in need in the local community by collecting donations of food in school and then delivering them directly to people’s homes, with the support of parents. Twelve Sixth Formers initially stepped in to take over the running of the previous Selly Oak Covid-19 Response Food Bank when local university students were unable to continue delivering the service, and the permanent KES Food Bank grew from there.
Boys and their families, staff and others in the school community are encouraged to bring in physical donations of food.
Donations can include:
The King Edward’s Home Bank (KEHB) is a joint initiative led by a Sixth Form team from King Edward’s School and King Edward VI High School for Girls. It aims to tackle and raise awareness of poverty, with a specific scope surrounding hygiene and home-based/child poverty in the West Midlands.
Every week, students from both schools work together to create care packages containing hygiene and home-orientated products such as clothes and toys. The packages are then distributed to shelters that support those experiencing domestic violence or abuse, benefiting more than 100 individuals as well as 15 families.
In addition to clothes and toys, the KEHB accepts donations of the following items:
Many of our boys contribute to the KES Outreach Programme, which provides a range of free masterclasses, workshops, competitions and concerts for local primary schools. Over 13,000 children from more than 200 schools across Birmingham and the wider region take part in our Outreach Programme each year.
Numerous charities are supported through fundraising events in and out of school. King Edward’s has been a longstanding supporter of Birmingham Children’s Hospital, initially setting up a “cot fund” in the late 1800s to buy new beds for the hospital. Now, Cot Fund supports a wide range of charitable causes chosen by boys each year.